Migraine excuse for work example (How to call in sick)

What is a good migraine excuse for work example?

Hey boss, I will be unable to make it into work today due to a chronic migraine. I have nothing urgent at work right now, so there shouldn’t be much impact from me being gone today. The best thing for me to do is get some rest.

Thanks for understanding,

[Your name]

Migraine’s are a serious medical condition and a legit reason for taking off of work. I have used headaches as one of my best excuses for leaving work early many times.

This article will show you how to leave work with a severe migraine and how to prevent them from happening at work.

Key Takeaways:

  • It’s a good idea to get your work scope covered by a coworker before requesting time off from work. Getting your work scope covered is your best bet to prevent any undue hardship that may come up in your absence and make your boss agree.
  • Consult your company handbook or human resources department for time card charging guidance. Your leave may be considered for use of Paid Time Off (PTO), Sick Leave, Unpaid Leave, or qualify for Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as serious health conditions.
  • Your employer should provide reasonable accommodation for migraines. As a result, you should be allowed to use vacation days or other leave types or request different types of accommodations, such as an ergonomic evaluation.
  • Common migraine triggers at work include bright lights, loud noise, light sensitivity, ventilation, poor ergonomics and high stress.
  • Headaches are a serious enough reason to leave work. Therefore, it is ok to leave on short notice as long as you’ve given appropriate communication to your boss.

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Example script for calling in sick due to migraine

Calling your boss is one of the first things you should do if you have a migraine attack and feel that you cannot make it to work. The following is an example of how I would call my boss and tell him I am taking time off work to manage my headache.

Me: Hey [Boss], I don’t feel I can make it to work today. I woke up with a massive headache and do not feel I could perform my job. Nothing I have done so far has helped, and I think I should stay home and get some rest.

Boss: I understand. Take some time, and I’ll see you at work tomorrow.

Me: Thank you. I will see you tomorrow.

Example text message to miss work due to migraine

Depending on your relationship with your boss, texting your boss about your head pain may be a good option.

Here’s a sample text message that I would send my boss if I could not make it to work because of a headache.

Hey Boss, I will be unable to make it to work today. Unfortunately, I am suffering from a migraine and can barely function. No urgent projects are going on at work that will need my immediate attention. Please let me know if you have any concerns. Thanks for understanding, I think the most important thing is for me to get some rest and recover.

I feel that a text message is a professional way to tell your boss that you can’t make it to work.

Often, I wake up early and wish to communicate that I will be unable to make it to work as soon as possible. A text message does not disturb my boss if they are unable to take a phone call but still gets the message across.

Example email to miss work for migraine

I have often sent my boss an email when I could not track them down and needed to leave work because of a migraine.

Here is a sample email of what I would send to my boss before leaving work:

Hey [Boss],

I wanted to let you know that I’m going to take off from work because of a massive headache. I have already let [coworker’s name] know I am leaving and briefed them on my projects. They have agreed to handle anything urgent that comes up, but I am not expecting anything.

Please feel free to call me if something does come up. Otherwise, I’ll be resting and will see you again tomorrow.

Thank you,

[your name]

Typically, I will try to find another manager or tell a coworker in addition to my email for added communications. I inform someone else of my absence because my boss usually has hundreds of emails daily, and they are more likely to talk to someone else before checking their email.

Again, it all comes down to your relationship with your boss. I know there’s a good chance I will not get into trouble for taking sick leave midday and informing my boss via email.

How to tell your boss you have a headache

I have found the best way to tell your boss you have a headache and leave early involves:

  1. Getting your work scope covered by a coworker
  2. Reschedule your meetings
  3. Directly telling your boss you have a headache and cannot work
  4. Set up an out-of-office message

Getting out of work for a migraine is as simple as ensuring your work scope is covered for the day. Headaches are a normal occurrence and will be expected throughout your Career.

Once you know your work scope is covered, just be direct and real with your boss. Let your boss know that you can’t continue to work and that you must take some personal time.

Frequently using the excuse of migraines may begin to look a little suspicious.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at each of the steps.

Get your work scope covered

The first step is to get your work scope covered by another coworker. You want to proactively make your boss’s job easier, which means covering your absence before it happens. Eliminating your boss’s concerns makes it easier for them to say yes, you can take time off from work.

Think about it this way.

You have an urgent project coming due. You tell your boss you need to take off from work, but the urgent project will wait because you cannot concentrate.

Most bosses are not willing to accept missing a deadline over temporary pain. It may also look poorly to your boss that you’re leaving the company in a bind without a solution. Therefore, it is always better to present a solution before your boss knows the problem.

In this case, having a solution is relatively easy. All you have to do is find a trustworthy coworker that can handle your projects if anything comes up.

Reschedule any meetings

You should also reschedule any meetings before mentioning to your boss that you must take work off. Most meetings shouldn’t exist in the first place, so it should be relatively easy to cancel or reschedule them.

In most cases, you can tell the meeting organizer that something came up and you need to reschedule the meeting. You can also inform the organizer that if the meeting doesn’t need your attendance, they can carry on and inform you of the details later.

In the best-case scenario, you won’t have to attend the meeting, and you will get out of work.

Tell your boss you’ve got a massive headache

Some people may find it nerve-wracking to tell their boss that they must leave work early. It shouldn’t be complicated, but we often don’t want to appear weak by needing time off from work.

I find it best to keep it simple. I touch on the following points when telling my boss I’m about to leave because of a headache:

  1. Tell your boss you’ve got a big headache
  2. Stress the point that you can’t focus
  3. State you’ve given it time to clear up, but it’s getting worse
  4. Tell your boss you’ve already cleared your schedule and got a coworker to cover

I find this approach very effective because you’re telling your boss you have a problem and have already taken steps to handle it. You have made it extremely easy for your boss to say, “see you tomorrow,” because you’ve already eliminated the need for you to be at work.

Set up an out-of-office message

Remember to set up an out-of-office message in Outlook before you leave work. An out-of-office message should tell everyone who is covering for you in your absence. Therefore, any urgent projects can be dealt with, and you won’t have a hot project to work on first thing in the morning.

Using leave for migraines

In general, employers may require the use of PTO, Sick leave, or unpaid leave, depending on your company’s leave policy. I would consult your boss, employee handbook, or human resources department to determine your leave options.

Another possibility is that consistent migraines may qualify for a serious health condition under the Family Medical Leave Act. The Family Medical Leave Act allows employees to take unpaid leave for emergencies that affect themselves or their families.

To qualify for FMLA, you must:

  • Have worked for your employer for at least 12 months
  • Worked a minimum of 1,250 hours over the last 12 months

Your employer must also have 50 employees within a 75-mile radius of your worksite.

However, don’t use migraines as a fake excuse to get out of work. Your employer has the right to ask for proof of any time requested off, such as for migraines.

Now you may wonder what kind of proof you would need for migraine? Your employer may ask for a doctor’s note for consistently missing work with the excuse of migraines.

Migraine symptoms

Migraines often manifest in the form of severe headaches. However, a headache is not the only sign of a migraine. You can request time off of work if you experience any of the following migraine symptoms:

  1. Extreme headache
  2. Light or sound sensitivity
  3. Nausea and vomiting
  4. Visual disturbances (e.g., flashing lights, auras, patterns in vision)
  5. Fatigue
  6. Muscle stiffness, usually in your back or neck region

In my particular case, I will often get tension headaches. My back and neck muscles become stiff, which causes me an extreme headache. Usually, the best way to get rid of my migraine is to go home, rest, and try again the next day.

Common causes of migraines and prevention at work

There are many causes of migraines. You need to identify what is causing your headaches, so you can take preventative measures to avoid getting them again.

For example, I usually get tension headaches from poor sleeping positions. A poor sleeping position causes a strain on my neck and tenses up my muscles. The tense muscles lead to extreme headaches throughout the next day.

I have found the following to help with my tension headaches:

  • Taking a hot shower while stretching the tense muscles
  • Using Icy-Hot immediately after coming out of the shower
  • Taking a muscle relaxer or headache medicine (e.g., Excedrin) as directed by a doctor
  • Taking a nap with my head properly supported

Let’s look at some of the most common reasons you may be experiencing a migraine.

Work environment

I will often get migraines when I’m working. The reason is that most office environments are usually not conducive to a happy and healthy body.

Some common migraine-inducing work environments include:

  1. High stress, causing muscle tension
  2. Poor ergonomic setup, causing neck and back strain
  3. Poor lighting, resulting in eye strain
  4. Poor ventilation
  5. Loud or constant noises
  6. Lack of breaks
  7. Bright lighting or use of computer screens causing eye strain

One of the best things you can do to prevent migraines in the workplace is to ask for an ergonomic evaluation. An ergonomic evaluation will evaluate your workstation to ensure proper ergonomics, leading to less strain on your body.

Not all companies offer ergonomic evaluations, but they are well worth the company’s time and money.

It would help if you also considered taking frequent small breaks. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look 20 ft away. Now is also a great time to stretch and prevent muscle knot buildup.

You should also ensure your screen’s brightness and contrast are adjusted to a comfortable level. Alternatively, use a screen filter to reduce glare.

Are migraines a good excuse to miss work?

Migraines are a perfectly good excuse to miss work. Migraine sufferers will suffer from loss of productivity while at work because they cannot concentrate on the task at hand.

According to the World Health Organization, migraines are the sixth highest cause worldwide of years lost due to disability.

Individuals should not report to work with a migraine, especially in high-risk jobs such as equipment operators. Operating equipment under the effects of a migraine can have serious consequences for you, bystanders, and your company.

Therefore, it is best for yourself and the company to leave work and return when you are better rested and ready for work.

John is the founder of TightFist Finance and an expert in the field of personal finance. John has studied personal finance for over 10 years and has used his knowledge to pay down debt, grow his investment portfolio, and launch a financial based business. He is committed to sharing content related to personal finance based on his experience in his career, investing, and path towards reaching financial independence.